Alberigo Evani revealed that Roberto Mancini was always in touch with the Italian team when they defeated Estonia 4-0 in a friendly early this morning.
The Azzurri squad manager had to isolate himself at home after being tested positive for COVID-19, in which case Evani took over the task of navigating the clash at the Stadio Artemio Franchi.
Federico Bernardeschi and Riccardo Orsolini added double goals from Vincenzo Grifo – the Freiburg striker’s first international goal – for Italy to easily extend their unbeaten record to 20 games.
Mancini channeled instructions to the home bench through Gianluca Vialli and Evani believed they should have scored more goals.
“Luca is on the bench to do what I usually do with Roberto, so they are both in touch and it went well,” he told RAI Sport.
“Honestly, we should have produced more goals because this line of players is able to put better pressure as well as increase the tempo but we do not have to make higher demands anymore.
“This is what we expect from the players. We realize that this is a match where we can afford big losses so we can’t make mistakes.
“We saw some interesting things including exceptional quality in this group. This is a good sign for Italian football and I am more satisfied as I am handling a lot of B-20 players.”
Grifo was among those who shone in the action at home when he opened the national team’s net account through a solid volley kick from a distance of 25 yards before extending his poisonous touch with a penalty kick, 25 minutes before the final whistle game.
He also made a valuable pass and won five of his six ball fights in his fourth appearance with the 2006 world champion.
The 27-year-old has spent his entire professional career in Germany being born there despite his Italian parents.
He revealed he was only considering representing Azzurri.
“I am very happy to be here, so I am happier with the resulting goal,” he said.
“Everyone knows that I never thought of representing any country other than Italy. I was born and raised in Germany but I am 100 percent Italian.
“I want to dedicate this goal to my parents. You have to believe in yourself, try to give your best at the club level and every time you are called while hoping the coach chooses you.
“We have a lot of quality in this squad that includes players from Juventus, Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) and everywhere. I am in Freiburg but there is a lot to learn. I am very happy to be here.”
Italy will face the European League (UNL) campaign against Poland and Bosnia-Herzegovina early next Monday and Thursday morning.